An Analysis Of Political Elitism Essay Research — страница 3

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scale – the more involved in politics, a higher status is achieved. It does make sense: Those who are elected are politically elite individuals, who would have to be popular members of their community. Those who are wealthy can afford to put money into politics. This is, of course the entire reason for tax breaks to the rich. Also, those large groups who on the whole share the same opinions can influence a government’s decision. Politicians ultimately, must please the public to receive their vote. One good example is the pay equity issue for civil servants. Members of Parliament and bureaucrats are a special kind of elites. If they are elected or appointed, they are both popular and privileged, and can exercise influence outside of their authority. However, they are puppets

to their superiors, and at the same time must please the public in their riding in order to be elected. Otherwise, they will exercise no power at all. “All politicians try to exercise influence, by using personal appeals and persuasive arguments to move others to adopt their political positions.” (Guy, 1995) This poses a question: How does one become a political elite? Guy uses a simple chart that illustrates, through a process of elimination, how elitism is accomplished. First and foremost, you must be old enough to vote and to participate in politics. At this stage, anyone who is of age can participate in politics. Next, you must be socially eligible: well educated, without a criminal record, well employed with at least middle-class financial status. Next, your

participation in politics is evaluated. If you were to be more than qualified for each of these categories, you would be a candidate for a position as a political leader. This can be seen as a way in which the Prime Minister can appoint individuals to the senate. The idea of a “Triple E” senate, however, challenges this. Establishing a senate that is elected by the people, for the people, equally represented by each province, and as effective in the decision making process as the House of Commons would be essential to decreasing the level of elitism in Canadian politics. The Reform party and different interest groups have pushed for this for many years. However, the reality of this ideology is that if the senate was changed so that it mirrored the House of Commons, it

probably wouldn’t be necessary to have the senate at all. Finally, there is an issue that deals with our political culture. Though we are a population of pluralist, we are also, as Gad Horowitz describes, Liberalists with a Tory touch. That is, we are traditionally liberalists with a certain amount of conservative values. What is remarkable is that this “Tory-Touched Liberal” idea mirrors the bases of political elitism. The priority of the individual and the freedom to have, better known as capitalism, coupled with democracy. Elitism is where this “Conservative Touch” comes in. This also applies to most nations that are based on a truly democratic system. However, like the aforementioned rule about elitism described by Van Loon and Whittington, it is needed to uphold

democracy. These days, one political elite whose strength is comparable to a hydrogen bomb is the media. The media shapes public opinion in an incredible fashion. Shockingly, the media almost has the power to completely destroy the public’s trust in government. Vietnam and Watergate are two good examples. A good Canadian example is how the media exploited former Solicitor-General Andy Scott when he was in quite a bit of trouble last fall. As such, the media is an incredible force in politics. Also, it seems that the media can some exploit individuals, distort the news, and judge individuals as guilty without fair analysis. The recent “APEC Summit Affair” demonstrates this to a tea. For the purpose of this essay, two forms of the media are used: The newspaper (Evening-Times

Globe), and television (CBC). The banner headline of the October eighth issue of the Evening-Times Globe read, in large bold letters: “He lied. Let him sue.” Whereas a subhead line in the October seventh issue reads: “Talk Not Cheap: Solicitor General Andy Scott’s chat with a Saint John man has him fighting for his political life.” When the CBC reported on the incident, reporters were, at times far from objective, using buzzwords like “The Forces of Darkness”. And clips of question period in the House of Commons was all over the news, most of which were scenes of opposition members “grilling” the federal government, Andy Scott, and the Prime Minister. Thus, The PMO sent a long and detailed letter to the CBC. “We have learned that CBC News, through lead